Thursday, June 2, 2011

Book Review: Cut by Patricia McCormick

Title: Cut
Author: Patricia McCormick
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Push (Scholastic)
Paperback, 151 pages
Date Published: May 1, 2011
Description (Provided by Big Honcho Media):
A tingle arced across my scalp. The floor tipped up at me and my body spiraled away. Then I was on the ceiling looking down, waiting to see what would happen next.

Callie cuts herself. Never too deep, never enough to die. But enough to feel the pain. Enough to feel the scream inside. Now she’s at Sea Pines, a “residential treatment facility” filled with girls struggling with problems of their own. Callie doesn’t want to have anything to do with them. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with anyone. She won’t even speak. But Callie can only stay silent for so long…

The 10th Anniversary edition of Cut includes a brand-new afterword from author Patricia McCormick, an author Q&A, and added resources.
Cut is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and it’s quite the accomplishment. Ten years ago, young adult literature practically did not exist. It wasn’t an actually category in a bookstore. Now it is. With this anniversary, more and more YA readers will be exposed to Cut and hopefully more and more will read it because it is a story to be read.

Cut follows Callie, a 15 year old girl who cuts herself. Callie cuts, but doesn’t really know why. Since coming to ‘Sick Minds,’ a youth treatment facility, Callie has been mute. Not speaking, not feeling, not anything. She is in group of girls with problems ranging from eating disorders, to drug dependency, to another cutter. She’s not alone and she’s not unique, but McCormick tells her story in a way that will draw the reader in, that will capture your attention, and force you to open your eyes.

The writing is a bit disjointed – Callie refers to the counselor as ‘you,’ the reader – and takes a little while to get used to, but once the reader gets past that, Callie’s story will pull you in. Without knowing why Callie cuts, her experiences and her emotions still make her someone to care about. Her life isn’t all that bad, but I felt for her. I wanted to reach through the pages and give the girl a hug because she sure seems like she needs it. Being with Callie and figuring her out as she figures herself out is an experience unlike any other.

The people surrounding Callie lend a great deal to the story. Even though the shrink, Callie’s parents, her brother Sam, and her fellow group members aren’t all that fleshed out, their small interactions bring out everything in Callie. Without their appearances, Callie would never grow, she would never break out of her shell and confront her problems. It is quite a feat to have minor characters with short scenes, play such a large role in character development, yet McCormick does it flawlessly.

Cut is one of those books – like Speak and The Perks of Being a Wallflower – that help define a generation. It’s timeless and heartbreaking and even though it seems bleak, that silver lining is the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Callie’s story is universal, not just with cutting, but with everything. Her emotions, her struggles, and the outcome create an emotional journey that will leave the reader satisfied and changed.

Opening line: You say it’s up to me to do the talking. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines/passages:
She nudges me with her elbow. “You want to know something?”
I still can’t look up. But I nod.
“It’s not your fault either.” She says this like it’s no big deal. Like it’s nothing.
But it’s everything. ~ pg. 102
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

Find Patricia McCormick online:

Buy it online:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | The Book Depository | Indiebound

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*Contest is sponsored by Scholastic & Big Honcho Media, I am only hosting. They will mail out prizes.


Jessy said...

I love books like this that tackle real problems. Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

Bere said...

Fantastic review, Nikki! Cut sounds like an emotionally intense read. I would definitely like to read this one. Thanks so much for the giveaway, Nikki! =)

Candace said...

I think this is a book I could really relate to (too well) and have been thinking about giving it a try. Your review has me convinced that I should!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Lori said...

Now I really want to read this! Especially because you use it in the same sentence as Speak! (I still need to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower).

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